Tom Robbins

Equine Fatalities on the Decline in California

Last week, a Santa Anita press release had the misfortune of arriving amid the squall of a busy news cycle. In a nutshell, the release shared this not insignificant titbit: The track had wrapped a 16-day race meet, and a one month and 20-day training period, with zero fatalities. Since the beginning of the winter/spring meet last December, there have been five racing fatalities--zero on the main dirt track--from 5,069 individual starts. The resulting ratio for the year of an average of 0.98 fatalities per 1,000 starters made Santa Anita...

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Del Mar Increases Fall Meet Purses, “Ship & Win” Bonus

Del Mar's seventh fall race meeting--starting Saturday, Oct. 31--will provide horsemen with a 10% blended increase in their overnight purses and the highest bonuses ever tied to the popular "Ship & Win" program. Despite the ongoing pandemic situation, the track was able to hold firm on its recently announced stakes schedule that offers 16 events with $2.25 million in purses. The track's minimum purse has increased from 2019's $17,000 to this fall's $20,000. Additionally, the track's "Ship & Win" program--now in its 10th year--will provide its richest incentive ever with...

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Juvenile Bonuses Available at Del Mar Summer Meet

Two-year-old runners will have additional incentives to shoot for this summer at Del Mar as the track will have bonus programs centering on freshman stallion Runhappy, as well as a unique package for all juveniles in its maiden special weight division. The Runhappy arrangement is the culmination of a two-year sponsorship Del Mar established last year with owner and breeder Jim McIngvale. If able to win one of Del Mar's $50,000 maiden special weight races, offspring by Runhappy will receive an additional $100,000 bonus. "I think you'll see his babies...

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Del Mar Stakes Schedule Worth More Than $5.5 Million

Del Mar will conduct its 81st summer racing season between July 10 and Sept. 7 featuring a 38-race stakes schedule offering more than $5.5 million in purses. The meet kicks off on a Friday and will feature the traditional Opening Day headliner, the $100,000 Runhappy Oceanside S. The overall stakes slate consists of 32 stakes that carry purses of no less than $100,000, along with six overnight stakes, each worth $65,000. Twenty-one of the stakes are graded--six at Grade I, 11 at Grade II and four at Grade III. The...

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Del Mar To Open a Week Early, Will Conduct Three-Day Racing Weeks

Officials at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced that the track will conduct racing on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule through the entire summer and have pushed forward opening day from July 18 to July 10. The track will close with a four-day week ending on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. The schedule is pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board at its June 11 meeting. "We're coming back and we're going to put on the most unique show in Del Mar history," said Del Mar's CEO Joe Harper. "It's...

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Live Race Dates, Workers' Comp, Day Rates Discussed in TOC Conference Call

The longer live racing is suspended in California the deeper the economic toll, which is why the industry continues to push hard for that suspension to be lifted: that was the main takeaway from a broad-sweeping conference call Friday morning, organized by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), for industry heads to outline and discuss the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic on racing and training in California. The call was presided over by TOC Chairman Nick Alexander, Greg Avioli, TOC president and CEO, The Stronach Group (TSG) CEO Craig Fravel,...

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Renowned Racing Official Tommy Trotter Dies at 93

by Reg Lansberry Tommy Trotter, whose 56-year career encompassed decades as one of the sport's most acclaimed racing secretaries, died Sunday in Aventura, FL, after a brief illness. In addition to his renown as a racing secretary, he was a widely respected handicapper who stamped the immortal careers of Kelso, Forego and other champions by assigning them forbidding amounts of handicap weight that served to certify their greatness. "When I think of Tommy Trotter, I think of Jimmy Kilroe," said Tom Robbins, executive vice president for racing at Del Mar....

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